Weller, Gunter Global Change and Arctic Systems, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska.
Last reviewed:March 2021
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- Antarctica, published July 2015:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Antarctica, published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Ice sheet
- Life on land
- Ocean life
- Ozone hole
- Ice core records
- Antarctic Treaty
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The coldest, windiest, and driest continent. The lowest temperature ever measured on Earth, −89.2°C (−128.5°F), was recorded at the Russian Antarctic station of Vostok in July 1983. Katabatic (cold, gravitational) winds with velocities up to 50 km/h (30 mi/h) sweep down to the coast and occasionally turn into blizzards with 150 km/h (nearly 100 mi/h) wind velocities. Antarctica's interior is a cold desert averaging annually only a few centimeters of water-equivalent precipitation (Fig. 1), while the coastal areas average 30 cm (12 in.). See also: Polar meteorology
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